The content of President Obama’s Thursday speech surprised no one, after all officials had been promising an upbeat report with claims of great progress for several days before the speech was ever given. But the decidedly non-credible claims appear not to have convinced anyone.
Beyond his inner circle, even allies seem to be steering clear of making any comment related to the claims of progress, and critics are piling on with the fairly obvious complaints about the public report, which stands in such ridiculous contrast to the classified National Intelligence Report and all other reports to come in recent weeks.
Even Taliban spokesmen felt comfortable mocking the claims of progress as clearly in stark contrast to the reality of the ongoing war. Though winter weather will likely lead to a decline in Afghan violence for a few months, most experts are predicting an even worse year of violence in 2011.
The administration’s claims seem to have been designed as a media-friendly collection of sound bites at the end of a disastrous year of war, but topping off such a terrible year of violence with a claim of non-specific progress must inevitably be doing serious damage to their credibility.